IDC raises smartphone forecast

Research firm IDC has lifted its smartphone sales forecast by 10% as BlackBerrys, Androids and iPhones continue to fly off the shelves.
IDC expects 2010 smartphone shipments to reach 269.6 million, up 55.4% over last year, compared with its earlier prediction of 245 million.
The research firm says the sales spike, driven by new model launches such as the BlackBerry Torch, HTC’s EVO 4G and the iPhone 4, will also carry total handset sales higher., and has raised its full-year handset outlook from 12.6% growth to 14.1%.
Senior research analyst Kevin Restivo said further product releases “and an expected flurry of smartphone buying activity in the second half of the year will push the market well above previous expectations.”
Google’s Android is expected to be the fastest mover among the OSes, increasing its market share from 16.3% to 24.6% for the full year. Symbian will retain 32.9% market share, while BlackBerry’s share of the market will remain steady, IDC predicts.
“Android is the wild card, deserving close observation for the rest of this year and the years to come,” said IDC senior research analyst Ramon Llamas.
“Phone vendors have been drawn to Android because it allows them to present their own approach to what a smartphone experience can be.
“In addition, users have quickly warmed to Android, comparing it to iOS due to its ease of use and a growing mobile application storefront. Now that HTC and Motorola have leapt out in front with their own respective devices, other vendors such as Dell, Kyocera, LG Electronics, and Samsung will soon help grow the Android market.”
IDC predicts the smartphone market to increase 24.5% in 2011.